From Games to Film and Back Again
by Maria Welych - Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Turning video games into movies has been a thing since the first “Super Mario Bros.”

Turning video games into movies has been a thing since the first “Super Mario Bros.” was released in Japan in 1986. But not many of them have been critical or box office successes.

That doesn’t stop Hollywood from trying, though. In August, website Den of Geek listed 31 video games that have been discussed as headed for the big screen. Many are lost in development hell – “Asteroids”? Really?? – but some seem destined for the red carpet, including “Angry Birds,” “Assassin’s Creed” and “World of Warcraft.” (Read the story here.)

But turnabout is fair play. Last month, posters on a forum on WrongPlanet.net suggested that the movies “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “Oblivion” could be turned into pretty decent video games. A writer on Gamefront.com added these movies to his video game wish list: “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Basic Instinct” and “Patriot Games.” (Read the story here.)

A writer at Whatculture.com took that thinking a step further and listed 10 video games she thought would make horrible movies. Among the games on her list were:

  • “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” because main character, Link, travels back and forth between being a prepubescent child and a fully mature adult. Dealing with Princess Zelda could become very awkward.
  • “Little Big Planet,” because it really has no storyline.
  • “Skyrim,” because it has too much storyline.
  • “American McGee’s Alice,” because it’s too dark and depressing.
  • “Kingdom Hearts,” because it would be impossible to merge the Disney and “Final Fantasy” worlds in one movie, whether animated or live action.

Check out her entire list here.

 

Bits & Pieces

  • Facebook is expanding its advertising service aimed at developers of smartphone and tablet apps. The expansion will include new capabilities designed to boost the amount of time that consumers use third-party apps.
  • Activision Blizzard is seeking to go independent after a dozen years under the control of French company Vivendi. Activision Blizzard agreed to buy back $8.2 billion of its stock from Vivendi but has been blocked by a group of shareholders who have filed an injunction. Activision Blizzard is appealing.
  • Apple and Android might be kings in the smartphone hardware and app markets, but BlackBerry remains strong in the Middle East and was the No. 2 best-selling brand in Saudi Arabia in July.
  • Three video games are up for Writer’s Guild awards this year: Rhianna Pratchet, for “Tomb Raider”; Mike Bithell, for “Thomas Was Alone”; and Graham Goring,  for “Lego City Undercover.” The winner will be announced next month in London.
  • Could “Half Life 3” be in the offing? That’s what gamers are hoping in the wake of news that Valve has filed to trademark that name.
  • Maxis has heard all the groans and complaints from players of “SimCity” and announced in a blog post that a team is exploring the possibility of an offline mode for the game. “I can’t make any promises on when we will have more information,” said Patrick Buechner, general manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio.

 

Maria Welych, who was technology editor at The Post-Standard for five years, is director of marketing and public relations at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology. She can be reached at mwelych@gmail.com.

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